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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sylvie Courvoisier – Mark Feldman Quartet with Scott Colley and Billy Mintz: Birdies For Lulu

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Pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and violinist Mark Feldman are a dynamic duo within the neoteric strategies of modern jazz, coupled with their substantial artistic output. They intersperse classical inferences with shades of folk, avant-garde schemas, and bristling improvisational segments into the big picture. This incarnation of the quartet now features upper-echelon session bassist Scott Colley and venerable drummer Billy Mintz. Essentially, the artists enrich the avant-classical genre by cultivating an undertow framed on swing, bop and concise opuses tinted with the appropriate doses of razzle-dazzle and free-flight mechanisms. Birdies for Lulu is a revelation of unanticipated surprises via the quartet's seamless ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thomas Maintz / Scott Colley / Johnathan Blake: Present

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There's a certain trend that has developed on the Danish jazz scene and it keeps growing stronger. In recent years, many Danish jazz musicians have travelled to New York to make a record with some of the top musicians in the city. Danish guitarist Jakob Bro has done it several times, recently with his record December Song (Loveland, 2013) where he once again worked with legendary saxophonist Lee Konitz, pianist Søren Bebe recorded with bassist Marc Johnson on Eva (From Out Here Music, 2013) and saxophonist Christian Vuust enlisted pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Ben Street and Jeff Ballard on his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Colley: Empire

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Empire is another exceptional release by Scott Colley, the first-call bassist whose deep strings have been the mainstay with numerous leading artists and a part of several fine recordings including drummer Antonio Sanchez's outstanding Live in New York at Jazz Standard (Cam Jazz, 2010). “January," the album's opener, sets a mood that is as cinematic as it is compelling. The twang of strings from Bill Frisell's guitar, the whispered wind song of percussive bells from drummer Brian Blade, and the elongated notes from trumpeter Ralph Alessi all create a ethereal backwoods aura, as the rhythmic pocket grows more intense like ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Colley: Empire

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One of jazz's most ubiquitous bassists, Scott Colley has only released a handful of albums as a leader, compared to hundreds of sessions and live dates with artists ranging from Jim Hall and Andrew Hill to Chris Potter and Antonio Sanchez. Architect of the Silent Moment (CamJazz, 2007), was a particularly impressive combination of head and heart, traditional roots and forward thinking, acoustic and electric. One of 2007's best , it was a turning point for Colley--a new path that the bassist continues to explore on Empire, a sure contender for one of 2010's top picks.Back from Architect, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Colley: Architect Of The Silent Moment

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A work that presents a deeply mined and singular mood, Architect Of The Silent Moment is subdued yet coolly intense. The album presents a unified musical vision built on bass vamps and grooves with little true melodic development or harmonic changes, allowing the soloists much freedom within each defined section. While the prevailing feeling created is one of introspection and thoughtfulness, elation and clarity break through many times. This is not music that presents obvious, clear forms created by the normal musical means, but rather signals new sections by subtle textural changes. This is an artistic choice, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Colley: Architect of the Silent Moment

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For bassist Colley's Architect of the Silent Moment, a conceptual construct (more poetically, a fantasia) for small ensemble, the oft-quoted dictum has rarely seemed more apposite: “Less is more. Colley starts with a core quartet of Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Craig Taborn (keyboards) and Antonio Sanchez (drums), and guests emerge and disappear throughout the subtle, largely written, 54-minute work. Dave Binney's alto fleshes out dodge-and-weave frontlines that recall Shorter/Davis, and wails his lone caterwaul on “From Within. Mouth-harpist Gregoire Maret limns unisons with Binney and/or Alessi at times, and hits a sweet spot on the evocatively titled “Strip Mall Ballet.

INTERVIEWS

Scott Colley: Music Architect

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Scott Colley can be found adding his big-toned, always appropriate contra bass to a number of settings. He's been a staple on the New York music scene for some time now, with older established musicians like Pat Metheny, Andrew Hill, John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Michael Brecker, Clifford Jordan, Herbie Hancock and many, many more. But also with colleagues like Ravi Coltrane, Chris Potter, Dave Binney or Craig Taborn.He's also recorded steadily, something many bassists can't say. From 1996 to 2002, he had a new recording of his own nearly every year. He's at it again with Architect of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Colley: Architect of the Silent Moment

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Scott Colley's ability to fuse free-form improvisation, complex meters, grooving melodies, rock harmonies and atonality has solidified his position as a New York jazz musician of the new generation. Unfortunately we live in a plagued era in which musical complexity is worth just as much as--if not more than--musical accessibility and the communication of ideas. Architect of the Silent Moment suffers from at least three of the symptoms endemic to this ailment.Symptom 1: Overplaying. Much of the record comes across as a musician's exercise in who can play the quickest and most complex lines or rhythms. As a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Colley: Architect of the Silent Moment

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If an artist is the sum total of his experiences, then Scott Colley's reach is nearly limitless. In twenty years the bassist has appeared on nearly 150 albums, ranging from mainstream work with Jim Hall and Carmen McRae to more left-of-center projects with Andrew Hill and Greg Osby. His own releases have been migrating towards a more expansive viewpoint. On Architect of the Silent Moment Colley brings together a collection of players who share his appreciation for what's come before, but are just as concerned with what's to come.

His core quartet features two artists who, despite considerable critical acclaim, ...

INTERVIEWS

Conversation with Scott Colley

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Though he doesn't know it, I owe composer/bassist Scott Colley quite a bit. It was hearing Mr. Colley perform at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles several years ago that fully opened my ears to the expressive force of the bass. Certainly, I'd always possessed a certain predilection for the bass, but it wasn't until after watching Colley tear up the stage with band mates Ravi Coltrane, Adam Rodgers, and Bill Stewart that I found myself digging through old recordings, exploring instrument dictionaries, and re-reading history books in a focused attempt to absorb as much about the bass as possible. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Colley: Initial Wisdom

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At 38, Scott Colley is poised to find new directions in jazz. Hip-hop rhythms and New Orleans shuffles coexist side by side on this quartet album of originals and extras. Graceful melodic lines and seamless phrasing tie the pieces together. Each of the four artists stretches out with a loose framework that links up automatically with that of the others. Drummer Bill Stewart drives the quartet with force, while guitarist Adam Rogers fills in an encompassing harmonic aura. Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and bassist Colley fuse their melodic lines gracefully. Some overdubbing allows the session to grow even larger. Harmony and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Colley: Initial Wisdom

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Bassist Scott Colley steps into the big leagues with his first release for the adventuresome Palmetto Records label. Colley has been a leader of recording sessions in the past, his The Magic Line (Arabesque 2000) and Subliminal... (Criss Cross 1997) garnered critical press for the thirty-eight year-old musician and he has been part of several important recent sessions. Of note is his playing on Andrew Hill's Dusk (Palmetto), Greg Osby's Symbols Of Light (A Solution) (Blue Note), Brad Shepik's Short Trip (Knitting Factory), and Old School (MA) with Peter Epstein and Peter Erskine. He has also been a sideman to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Colley: Initial Wisdom

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Since his arrival in New York City back in the late 1980’s, jazz bassist Scott Colley has risen thru the ranks in a rather expeditious fashion. As of early 2002, the artist has already appeared on over 100 albums, including sessions with saxophonists Joe Lovano & Greg Osby, pianist Andrew Hill, and many others of note. With his third solo effort, Colley garners the services of the monstrously talented drummer Bill Stewart, while saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and guitarist Adam Rogers round out this superstar-like quartet. Unfortunately, the results prove to be somewhat mixed.

The first three pieces ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Colley: The Magic Line

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One of the premier session bassist's in jazz steps out of the pocket with his first solo outing for the Arabesque label titled, The Magic Line. And along with the laudable support of saxophonist Chris Potter and drummer Bill Stewart, Scott Colley exhibits multifarious attributes as a leader and composer. The Trio serves up an interesting mix on pieces such as the title track where the bassist commences with an extended solo passage followed by Potter's entry on tenor. Here, the duo performs fluid unison lines amid Stewart's backwashes of tonal shading and altogether colorful utilization of his cymbals while ...



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